List Building is the Key to Lead Generation


What is list building anyway?

In this case, I’m talking about online list building.

List building is a way of collecting a website visitor’s contact information, much like you do when you collect business cards at a meeting. It involves creating a space on your website where people enter their names and email addresses and receive something of free that is of educational value to them or a free sampling of one of your products or services.

These people are your leads. Your job is to build and strengthen a long-term relationship with them. And the first step to building it by asking their permission to become part of your online community, whether that be by signing up for your free offering/newsletter, purchasing a product or service, commenting on your blog, connecting with you on Facebook and Twitter, etc., you need to make sure all of your connections are permission-based.

For instance, if you attend a live networking event, don’t just grab business cards and arbitrarily add people to your list without their consent. This is what’s known as spamming, and is a big, big no-no. If the event you’ve been at is a local one, there is a very good chance someone you meet there will become one of your local clients. Nevertheless, clients can come from just about anywhere when you operate your business online, depending on the nature of your offerings!

That’s why one of the best vehicles for getting people onto your list is by asking them to sign up for your free offering. This can be a free downloadable report, a video, an e-course, etc. There are numerous free resources you can offer. The key is to give people valuable information that is targeted at their pain points, and that speaks to them in their language, e.g. know your target market! So, even if you’ve met someone in person, invite them to sign up for your free offering – likely they’ll have their trusty laptop with them and will be able to do it on the spot while the invitation is hot!

Here’s how list building generally works:

a) Lead visits your website, sees an exciting and interesting free offering.

b) Lead enters their name and email address in the appropriate place.

c) Lead immediately receives free offering and also receives a note that tells them as a complimentary gift, they’ve also been added to your newsletter list.

Now you have a myriad of ways you can interest them in your products and services not only today but for years down the road.

And here are some ways you can do that:

a) Make sure you keep your newsletter going out on a regular basis (you’ve got one, right?). Weekly is ideal as it keeps you top of mind. Don’t worry, you don’t have to make the newsletter too long.

b) You can send out special announcements about upcoming programs or product sales, etc.

c) You can also send out important information you think is valuable to your target market. For instance, if you’ve come across a really interesting article or have information about a complementary product you know your list will want to hear about it, send it out.

Don’t overdo the “touch”.

The trick with list building is to ensure that you stay in touch with your list on a regular basis and keep them interested in all the things you have to offer. However, there is a bit of etiquette to be aware of here. It’s not a good idea to do nothing but plug your services all the time. You need to balance between giving free, valuable information and promoting what you do. A good rule of thumb is to send out an email to your list at least once a week or every two weeks, but once a week is ideal.

Make the relationship interactive.

You can also invite people to get to know you in other ways, whether that’s through having them fill out a survey, answer a query you’ve sent out in your newsletter or even have them send their questions to you to answer in your next newsletter or your next blog post. Of course, they’ll also be getting to know you from using your products or services as well as they’re always primed to buy as long as you stay in touch! Just make sure you let people know this relationship is a two-way street.

The key here is to talk to them about what matters to them and keep what you say in your voice so they get the “feel” about you – your “feeling” brand.

Now you are building the second key with your leads – the know, like, and trust factor. Get them on your list. Keep in touch. Invite them to interact. And keep building on that relationship. The better the relationship, the more success you’ll have in converting your leads to paying customers.

This is sometimes called the Marketing Funnel.

For instance, a new lead:

a) becomes part of your list.
b) signs up for your free teleclass
c) signs up for your 6-week fee-based coaching program
d) buys your new book
e) buys a one-on-one VIP day with you
f) Etc.

Build, strengthen and grow the customer relationship

It all starts with giving your website visitor a way to connect with you. You do that by creating an opt-in box on your website (see mine strategically placed at the top right of every page, the hottest real estate on any website!)

Now, if your website doesn’t have a way of capturing a person’s name and email address, you are potentially leaving a LOT of money on the table, as well as the opportunity to make some really great connections. You won’t know who really wants to see what you have to offer when they have no easy way to get ongoing information from you. Plus you never know when someone on your list will contact you with the next great business-building idea that really rocks your world.

List Building = Lead Generation.

You can’t build a business without it.

Questions or comments? I’d love to hear from you!

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Copyright © Dr. Nathalie Beauchamp 2011. All rights reserved

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